How much does an electrician make? A licensed electrician’s salary varies depending on qualifications, experience, and location. Nationwide, the average pay for electricians, which includes the entire range of skill level and experience, is about $50,000 yearly, or about $24 hourly.

Location matters, since the same licensed electrician will earn, on average, about 37% more in New York than he would in North Carolina. Those looking to hire an electrician or considering moving to a state that pays more for a licensed electrician must also factor in the difference in cost of living.

According to, licensed electricians are a part of the category that is paid second highest in the United States. The only category that earns more is people who install and repair elevators.

The average pay for an electrician, an entry-level licensed electrician, is likely to earn $31,200 yearly, which breaks down to about $15 an hour, but average electrician wages increase quickly with experience. A master electrician earns at least twice as much as an entry-level and often more.

Average Licensed Electrician Salaries by State

StateAvg.  SalaryHourly  RateEntry  / Apprentice (Rounded)Journeyman
District of Columbia$72,389$34.80$32,000$71,200
New Hampshire$56,549$27.19$34,000$54,920
New Jersey$86,590$41.63$36,000$48,580
New Mexico$45,395$21.82$29,000$44,797
New York$71,936$34.58$36,000$56,821
North Carolina$46,369$22.29$23,000$46,093
North Dakota$78,347$37.67$37,000$48,926
Rhode Island$67,146$32.28$36,000$49,606
South Carolina$41,856$20.12$22,000$54,090
South Dakota$56,404$27.12$22,000$47,496
West Virginia$62,939$30.26$27,000$49,385

Licensed Electrician Salary Range

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How much does a licensed electrician make? What is an average journeyman electrician salary? Licensed electrician salaries range from the lowest electrician starting salary at around $31,000 to the highest currently paid income in the field which is over $110,000.

While electrician labor rates by state vary wildly, certain cities have notable electrician trade salary differences, as well. For instance, the average licensed electrician rate in Vancouver, Washington, is about an average hourly rate of $43.25, making it one of the highest paying cities in the United States for this career.

In comparison, the overall average for Washington State is $42.35, nearly $1.00 per hour lower.

Master electricians can expect to receive an average of $67,500, though as much as $127,500 is possible in the United States, according to Intuit. Their data is aggregated from tax returns filed through their tax software.

Licensed Electrician Salaries by Education Level

Another factor in figuring out how much do licensed electricians make is based on education. As a vocation, the electrician is not as education-dependent as many other careers. While degrees up to a Master’s are achievable, data indicates that the licensed electricians with the highest income level are usually those with a two-year degree or some college, followed by those with a bachelor’s degree.

The lowest level is, as one would expect, those with a high school diploma or less, but only slightly higher are those with a master’s degree. The difference probably lies in years of experience.

Experience Levels for Licensed Electricians

Salary levels vary from the entry-level Apprentice to the expert Master.

Apprentice ($21,000 – $56,000)

An apprentice electrician is just starting and is still learning. Characteristics of this level include:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Learning the trade
  • Taking classes
  • Being trained by a master electrician.

Some states require an apprentice to be licensed, certified, or registered while others do not. The states that provide apprentice licenses, certification, or registration are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington D.C.

Journeyman ($43,113 – $71,200)

When the training has been completed, the electrician takes a qualification test to verify knowledge. A journeyman electrician meets the following characteristics:

  • Worked the prescribed quantity of hours or years (ranges from 6,000-16,000 hours or 4-8 years, depending on the state)
  • Passed qualification exam
  • Works alone
  • Takes further classes to specialize, if desired
  • Refresher training each year
  • Increased experience

Master ($48,411 – $90,882)

After a few years, the journeyman can take another exam to move up to master electrician. Characteristics of a master include:

  • Worked the prescribed quantity of hours or years (starts at 4,000 or 4 years) as a journeyman
  • Passed qualification exam
  • Trains new apprentices
  • Supervises apprentices and journeymen
  • Works alone
  • Sometimes forms their own business
  • Sometimes works with contractors

Commercial vs Industrial Electricians

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A commercial electrician and an industrial electrician do similar jobs. The main difference is location. Commercial electricians do their work in offices and stores, new buildings, and similar locations. Industrial electricians are more commonly found in industrial factories and similar.

Another difference is the tools most often used by each. Commercial electricians are more likely to use hand tools while industrial electricians often use technologically advanced tools and machines.

Electricians that use more advanced tools often receive a higher salary, due to the skill level needed and the potential complications and risks involved.

According to the NNCER, things have changed significantly between 2018 and 2022. In 2018, commercial electricians averaged $61,139 annually and industrial electricians $67,269. In 2022, commercial electricians average about $65,398 annually, and industrial electricians only $59,304.

Other interesting comparisons between the two years include the electronic systems technician, which averaged $63,093 in 2018, and in 2022, $72,179, and the power line worker, which averaged $68,262 in 2018, and in 2022, $85,072.


Electricians work in a variety of professions. Though all are licensed electricians, each has its specialty. Some of the specialties and their mean annual wages are:

  • Building equipment contractors, $62,680
  • Local government (other than schools and hospitals), $73,840
  • Utility system construction, $69,440
  • Nonresidential building construction, $63,040
  • Coal mining, $75,500
  • Ship and boat building, $55,250
  • Metal ore mining, $71,340
  • Iron, steel, ferroalloy manufacturing, $60,000
  • Natural gas distribution, $104,920
  • Promoters of events, $101,740

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Licensed electricians are in the greatest demand in certain categories of industry. Most industrial electricians work in one of these specialties.


Licensed electricians are required at the company that provides electricity to homes and businesses. Installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical conduits and circuits requires a licensed electrician.

Salaries for general residential electrical work tend to be slightly lower than salaries for more specialized work such as power line installation and the construction of utility systems.


Installing the new electrical wiring in new construction requires a licensed electrician, in both residential and commercial buildings.

Salaries for residential construction and nonresidential construction are comparable in most places.


Factories and other industrial buildings often require more sophisticated and technologically advanced electrical circuits. Licensed industrial electricians aid in the ongoing maintenance of electronics, especially in areas with greater electrical use.

Industrial electricians aid in keeping the facility in compliance with the regulations that govern electrical circuitry.

Salaries vary based on the product, with factories for technology requiring more sophisticated systems than factories for less electrically-based products.


Medical technology is often powered electrically and many of the machines use greater power than average to work efficiently. Medical establishments require industrial electricians for the general upkeep and repair of these machines.

Because medical equipment is often critical, proper electrical maintenance can be the difference between life and death. The salary range for electricians working in a medical establishment often reflects this fact.

National Averages

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 650,000 people are employed as electricians in the United States. The mean hourly wage is $30.44 and the mean annual wage is $63,310. The annual wage range is $37,020 to $99,800.

Electrical Engineers, which handle the design, research and development, testing, manufacturing, and installation of electrical systems and components, average $100,420 annually.

Electricians who install and repair electrical power lines average $78,310 annually.

Electrical technologists and technicians average $63,640.


engineers handshake on desk with helmets picture

Many electricians belong to a union. Most commonly, they belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). So, what is a Union electrician’s salary by state? The union’s website states that “union workers make $10.62 more an hour on average than their non union counterparts.”

Even considering the average cost of dues and fees charged by unions, the workers still average over $6,000 more annually, according to the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.

Changes in Electrician Wages by State Since 2013

State2022 Average Salary2018 Average Salary2017 Average Salary2016 Average Salary2015 Average Salary2014 Average Salary2013 Average Salary 
New Hampshire$56,549$54,610$53,430$52,010$48,320$48,050$48,360
New Jersey$86,590$71,660$70,850$71,310$68,930$67,570$65,770
New Mexico$45,395$51,050$50,680$50,250$48,700$47,890$47,240
New York$71,936$77,810$76,480$73,010$72,540$69,820$70,560
North Carolina$46,369$44,140$43,970$42,960$41,830$40,550$39,890
North Dakota$78,347$63,260$62,780$61,010$59,410$56,350$53,670
Rhode Island$67,146$57,620$55,700$53,130$52,590$50,580$55,190
South Carolina$41,856$44,720$43,890$43,560$43,710$41,820$40,020
South Dakota$56,404$45,490$45,950$46,410$47,080$44,270$42,790
West Virginia$62,939$53,440$54,830$51,690$53,190$53,190$53,360

The data above is aggregated from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While most states have seen an increase in electrician salaries over the time frame depicted, it is apparent that some states have a more significant increase than others. For instance, Georgia’s 6% increase pales next to Idaho’s nearly 27% increase.

On the other hand, two states – Mississippi and New Mexico – saw a decrease in average electrician wages from 2013 to 2022, by almost 12% and 4%, respectively.

This could be a result of many factors, including how many new electricians have entered the workforce and how many master electricians have retired.

The Best-Paying States for Electricians

The average in a state includes the higher-paying metropolitan areas as well as the lower salaries in the remote areas. Even in a state that ranks high on average, some areas have lower rates.

Overall, the five top salaries for licensed electricians according to US News are:

  • Illinois – $81,650
  • New York – $81,340
  • Hawaii – $79,280
  • Washington, D.C. – $79,030
  • Oregon – $76,040

Salaries Affected by Supply and Demand

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Because qualified electricians are limited, employers have a challenge. Most companies prefer to invest in training people who will stay with the company rather than spending time and money to train someone who leaves to work somewhere else or on their own.

The more an electrician knows, the better the overall job is done. An electrician that knows the field of electronics beyond the current electrical job being done will improve the experience for clients, which helps to retain them and build loyalty. This is invaluable to a company.

Electrician Salaries Compared to Similar Trades

  • Electricians average $63,310
  • Plumbers average $63,350
  • HVAC technicians average $54,690
  • Avionics mechanics average $66,680
  • Electrical engineers average $67,550
  • Elevator installers and repairers average $88,540

Salaries and Occupational Expenses

Some of the states with higher salaries also have a higher cost of living. Some states have more expensive licensing requirements for journeymen and masters. Benefits that go with employment are also not considered in these numbers.

Additional Information

The electrician rate of pay varies from state to state, largely based on the cost of living, expenses for obtaining the license, and supply and demand. Licensed electricians provide skilled labor and electrician salaries reflect this fact.

The job market for electricians is growing annually and is expected to increase by nearly 9% from 2016 to 2026 if the growth rate continues steadily. Electricians have excellent advancement opportunities. Apprentices becoming journeymen and then masters increase wages appropriately.

Data indicates that more electricians live and work in California, Texas, and New York than in the rest of the United States, though naturally licensed electricians are required nationwide. California and Texas account for about 20% of all United States electricians.

More electricians belong to unions than do not, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (based on 2018 numbers).

Electrical engineers – electricians that have earned engineering degrees along with learning the electrician trade – earn more annually due to their extensive knowledge.

The average licensed electrician hourly rate is approximately double the minimum wage, nationally. The licensed electrician starting salary is just over the national minimum wage.

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Hosam Sayed is a Product Marketing Manager at WorkWave with extensive knowledge of B2B product and marketing positioning. When not in front of his computer, he can be found spending time with his family, enjoying outdoor activities, and working on perfecting the art of landscaping.